A rabbit is probably the first animal that comes to mind when you think of Easter, but the Quebec Association for the Protection of Rabbits would prefer if people stuck to the chocolate version instead of the real thing.
“Animals shouldn’t be a spur of the moment thing, it should be well thought out, not a good thing to do on Easter,” said Jason Mossa, the association’s founder.
While rabbits are cuddly and cute, they also require complex care. Mossa who has a rabbit of his own, said veterinarians who specialize in rabbit care are harder to come by and when you can find one, it’s often more expensive.
SPCA spokesperson Anita Kapuscinska said rabbits are often understood, “they require a minimum of four hours in a rabbit-proof area per day and their life expectancy exceeds 10 years, so caring for a rabbit is definitely a long-term commitment,” she said.
According to Kapuscinska, nearly 250 rabbits are brought to the SPCA each year. While she said it’s difficult to say if all these rabbits were given as gifts to unassuming recipients for holidays such as Easter, one thing is sure: “People are unaware of the specific needs that these rabbits require before they brought one home,” she said.
Often times when unfit owners decide they can’t handle their pet anymore, Mossa says they release it into the wild.
During his volunteer work with the Quebec Association for the Protection of Rabbits Mossa said “we’ve seen colonies, a lot around Montreal, so it’s becoming a big issue because it’s disrupting wildlife and sadly they will die in the wild because they’re not meant to survive here in Quebec.”
Instead of adopting on an impulse, both animal advocates say it’s important to research to find out if a rabbit is a right pet for your family, because after all letting a real rabbit hop into your life will last a lot longer than any Easter chocolate bunny.
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